Fourth-quarter 2013 adjusted after-tax corporate profit increased 2% quarter-over-quarter to $1.74 trillion, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today. After bumping up a revised 2.4% in the third quarter, this latest report marks the second straight quarter of slower corporate profit growth.

Despite slower growth, absolute profits are still rising. Manufacturing proved to be a major contributor to fourth-quarter corporate profit. Within manufacturing, the largest increase was in petroleum and coal

In line with the adjusted pre-tax profits increase of $47.1 billion, corporate income taxes increased $13.3 billion. Dividends increased by $90.5 billion in the quarter compared to a $179 billion drop in the third quarter.

For 2013 overall, adjusted after-tax profits kept pushing ahead. Annual growth clocked in at 6.9%, compared to 4.7% for 2012.

In absolute terms, the last calendar year's growth was significantly slower than 2012 for financial corporations. After 2012's adjusted financial profits increased $66.4 billion, 2013's addition amounted to just $34.5 billion. Nonfinancial companies also saw a decrease in growth, though not as steep.


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